HomeWashington Letter2020 ▶ House Panel Approves NIH and Research Infrastructure Funding
House Panel Approves NIH and Research Infrastructure Funding

This week, the House Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), approved the House’s fiscal year (FY) 2021 health spending bill, which funds NIH, CDC and most health programs, on a party-line vote of 9 – 6. The full House Appropriations Committee chaired by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) is expected to approve the bill on July 13. The bill proposes:

  • $47.5 billion in total funding for the NIH in FY2021, a $5.5 billion increase over FY2020 NIH funding of $41.5 billion, to include the following:
  • $5 billion to offset research costs related to reductions in laboratory productivity resulting from interruptions or shutdowns of research during the COVID pandemic
  • A 7 percent funding increase to each institute and center;
  • $240 million for flu vaccine research, a $40 million increase over FY2020;
  • Targeted funding for HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s and other research areas

For the CDC, the House health spending bill proposes $8 billion, an increase of $232 million above the FY 2020 enacted level, and additionally:

  • A proposed $9 billion in emergency funding to improve the nation's preparedness for public health emergencies. The emergency funds would include:
  • $4 billion for enhanced public health prevention efforts, including a flu vaccination public campaign;
  • $2 billion for state and local public health emergency response;
  • $1 billion to improve capabilities at state and local public health laboratories;
  • $1 billion to strengthen global public health preparedness and response capacity;
  • $400 million for the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund; and
  • $200 million for public health workforce development;
  • $240 million for CDC’s Office on smoking and Health, an increase of $10 million above the FY 2020 enacted level;

The FY2021 House health spending bill also proposed a new $5 billion Public Health Emergency Fund in the office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Following full House Appropriations Committee approval next week, the FY2021 health spending bill’s outlook is unclear as we head into a Presidential election season. The Senate is expected to approve its own version of the 2021 health spending bill later this month. We expect that due to the impending election, regular House and Senate floor votes on the FY2021 health spending bills may not occur and that Congress will need to pass temporary spending measures to fund government programs. We are cautiously optimistic, however, that when the 2021 health spending is finalized, NIH and CDC will receive funding increases.

Last Reviewed: July 2020